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March 12, 2010
– Adam Russell

Family Matters

We started off this episode of Smackdown, with perhaps the best wrestling segment of the year so far. Rey Mysterio made his way to the
ring, accompanied by his wife, Anji, his son (or Eddie Guerrero’s son, for the sake of storyline continuity), Dominic, and daughter, Aaliyah.
Rey said that the fans let him into their home every week, so he wanted to let them into his home and introduce them to his family. He
talked about missing out on important events when you’re on the road for so long, and then announced that today is Aaliyah’s ninth
birthday. This incited a ‘Happy Birthday’ chant from the fans, and Rey then asked them to join him in singing Happy Birthday. This,
unsurprisingly, but promisingly, brought out CM Punk and his straight-edge society. Punk said that it’s fitting that Rey’s family and his
family were present as he challenges him to a match at WrestleMania, and also to a match right then and there. Rey, obviously wary
about his family’s presence, said that now isn’t the time, to which Punk responded that his birthday present to Aaliyah was to allow her to
close her eyes while he reduces her daddy to tears and makes him beg for mercy. Now I know what to ask for for my next birthday. Punk
then called Rey a coward for not wanting to fight in front of his family, trying to incite him, first by getting down on his knees to be on ‘his
level’, and then with a slap to the face. Rey, however, would not be baited, and instead led his family away as Punk sinisterly sang Happy
Birthday to Aaliyah.

Everything about this segment worked so well- the performances were exceptional, everything made sense, the crowd was hot, and it set
up a match for WrestleMania. Speaking of those performances, Punk was so wonderfully sleazy and condescending, but the best
performance here belonged to Aaliyah Mysterio (yeah, I know that’s not her real name). She conveyed fear so believably that she actually
put much of the roster to shame. This feud could easily be this year’s CM Punk/Jeff Hardy. See the common denominator?

The Miz came out next, and asked if John Morrison and R-Truth, the number one contenders for the tag team champions, really thought
they could embarrass him and The Big Show. He said that he was about to prove to Truth what he can do, which led us to the next match.

--- The Miz (w/ Daniel Bryan) Vs R-Truth (w/ David Otunga)

Truth hit the corner jazz leg lariat, and then clotheslined Miz over the top rope, following up with a rolling plancha as we went to
commercial. We returned 3’37 into the match, with Miz in control with a facelock. Truth countered with a back suplex, then hit a hiptoss,
clotheslines, and a pump kick for a two count. Miz hit back with a backbreaker/neckbreaker combo for a two count, and then an exchange
of pinning combinations ended with Miz going for the cover with his feet on the ropes. However, Miz’s NXT rookie, Daniel Bryan, was on
hand to push his feet from the ropes, and the distraction allowed Truth to hit the Lie Detector for the win at 6’05. It’s nice to see the
tumultuous relationship between Miz and Bryan, one of the more entertaining storylines in the company, be carried over onto other
shows. It certainly bodes well for his future prospects.

We went to the back, where Drew McIntyre was talking to Teddy Long. This was just exposition, as Long said that McIntyre’s two Money in
the Bank qualifying defeats had been expunged by Vince McMahon, and he would have a third chance to qualify tonight against a hand-
picked opponent. Drew reminded Long that he was still under probation (to quote the Miz, “really?”), to which Long responded that he can’
t change the match, but he can make it an Intercontinental championship match, in addition to a Money in the Bank qualifier.

--- Intercontinental Championship/Money in the Bank qualifying match- Drew McIntyre (champion) Vs Aaron Bolo

Bolo was announced as a hometown boy from Seattle, Washington, and a local mixed-martial arts champion. However, he was
obviously no match for Drew, who hit a couple of clotheslines and then the Future Shock DDT for the win after 31 seconds. This really felt
like a wasted opportunity for a fun little match. Would it have killed to have had the opponent be Jimmy Wang Yang, Funaki (what’s
happened to him, by the way), or someone of that ilk (maybe even an NXT rookie), who could give McIntyre a run for his money before
ultimately going down. I fully expect Drew to win Money in the Bank now though.

--- The Big Show Vs John Morrison

Morrison tried to take the fight to Show with punches and kicks, but ran into a shoulderblock which led to Show taking over. He hit
Morrison with a headbutt and a slap to the chest before locking on a facelock that Morrison could only break by getting the ropes. Show
sent him to the floor with a big boot, and then dragged him back in, but Morrison caught him with a roundhouse kick, a low dropkick, and
then a missile dropkick, which earned him a nearfall. He hit a running knee for another two count, but Show countered the Flying Chuck
with a knockout punch to pick up the win at 5‘03. This was a really fun, smartly booked, match, which had the right result.

In the back, Teddy Long welcomed Tiffany to Smackdown. Vickie Guerrero came in, and said that Tiffany is the reason ECW got
cancelled. Long said that Tiffany is here to be a diva, so Vickie made a match between her and Michelle McCool.

--- The Hart Dynasty (w/ Natalya) Vs Cryme Tyme

Kidd and JTG got us started, with JTG hitting a dropkick, before Kidd took his knee out. Kidd slammed his leg twice into the ringpost and
then locked on a half Boston crab, but then the lights went out, and when they came back on, The Undertaker was in the ring. ‘Taker beat
down everybody, hitting a chokeslam on Shad, a Last Ride on Kidd, a Tombstone on Smith, and then locking the Hell’s Gate on JTG. The
match ended at 1’25.

I hate, hate, hate stuff like this, and it has become something of a regular routine for the Undertaker. I know full well that nobody is really
going to care that these two tag teams got battered like this, and they’re not really going to be any worse for it. It just seems so stupid to
basically send four young guys out there to be made to look like complete jobbers. And what does this do for ‘Taker exactly? Yeah, he’s a
badass- we get that. That’s been rammed down our throats for the past twenty years. This doesn’t add anything to his character and,
more vexingly, doesn’t add anything to his actual storyline with Shawn Michaels. Just really frustrating to me.

--- Michelle McCool (w/ Layla and Vickie Guerrero) Vs Tiffany

Michelle tried to embarrass Tiffany, but Tiffany surprised her with an inverted atomic drop, clotheslines and a low dropkick. She sent the
women’s champion to the outside with a kick, and there slammed her head into the apron, and whipped her into the security wall. Vickie
had seen enough by then, and she shoulder tackled Tiffany, causing the disqualification at 1’29. McCool then kneed Tiffany’s head into
the wall, before Beth Phoenix made the save. Beth took out Layla and McCool with a double clothesline, and then cornered Vickie. The
crowd were willing her to get physical with Vickie, and Beth milked it a bit, before finally knocking her down with a clothesline to a big pop.
Michelle and Layla made the save before Beth could hit the Glam Slam. It looks like Beth is a fully fledged babyface now, after a couple of
months of teasing it.  Tiffany looked pretty good and firey in her in-ring television debut.

--- Luke Gallows (w/ CM Punk and Serena) Vs Kane

The action was pretty back-and-forth in the early going, with Kane hitting a clothesline, and Gallows responding with a flying elbow. A low
dropkick from Kane sent Gallows scuttling to the outside to avoid a chokeslam, and that took us to the commercial break. We returned at
4’52 with Gallows hitting a suplex for a two count, and then a splash for another nearfall. Kane came back with a big boot, a clothesline in
the corner, a side suplex and the flying clothesline. He went for the chokeslam, but Gallows used elbows to block, but Kane hit a short
clothesline and then, finally, the chokeslam. Before he could make the cover though, Punk attacked him, causing the disqualification at 7’
33. Punk hit a Go To Sleep on the big man, before Rey Msyterio’s music hit. Mysterio made his way out and he and Punk went at it, with
Rey getting the best of the exchange until Punk fled up the ramp. A really strong continuation here to the earlier good work, with Rey look
very intense with his beatdown, and Punk playing the cowardly heel well.

Next up was the return of the Highlight Reel. I laugh at this being presented as a big deal, seeing as the Highlight Reel is really no
different to every other in-ring promo segment that we get on every single episode of Raw and Smackdown. Anyway, Jericho’s guest was
Edge, and Edge said that the only highlight they’ve been involved in is Jericho getting speared. This started up a spear chant. I know a lot
of people don’t like the spear chant, but I see it as pretty good babyface work by Edge. Jericho talked about Edge always getting injured,
and Edge responded that that’s because he only knows how to do the business one way, and that’s to take risks. He went on that he will
take whatever risk he has to at WrestleMania. Jericho said that Edge took a risk when he agreed to face him, and that he has only ever
achieved anything when he has been with a partner, most recently Vickie Guerrero. Edge shot back that everyone has had a girlfriend
they regret- for him it was Vickie, and for Jericho it was the Big Show. Jericho surmised that Edge came back too soon from his injury,
saying he will put him back on the shelf, but Edge said that he will make him an ex-World Heavyweight Champion, after hitting him with
the spear. At that point Jericho hit Edge in the jaw with the microphone, and then beat him down with one of the stools that made up the
set of the Highlight Reel. He then tried to throw Edge into the Jeri-Tron, but Edge countered with the Edgercution. He went for the spear,
but Jericho hit him with the championship belt.

Most of this segment was pretty much like all the promo segments have been between these two, as they went over the same territory
and storyline points. Things picked up with the beat down at the end, and Jericho countering the spear with the belt shot plays well into
his character. Edge should have more failed spear attempts leading up to WrestleMania, making the pay-off when he does hit the spear
and wins the championship all the more satisfying.

In all, this was a pretty missable episode of Smackdown. There was nothing in the ring to write home about (Morrison Vs Show was
probably the best match), and everything else was merely average. That is with the exception, of course, of the Punk/Mysterio altercation,
which really made the show.

MVP of the night- All involved in that opening segment, with a special mention for Aaliyah, who really was great in her role.

Line of the night- Punk offering Aaliyah her birthday present. What a diabolical bastard.